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05-05-2011

NYPA Gives Clarkson Researchers Funding to Study St. Lawrence River Plankton

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently announced that three projects that will contribute to the greater understanding of and appreciation for the St. Lawrence River ecosystem were awarded funding earlier this year from the St. Lawrence River Research and Education Fund (SLRREF), that the New York Power Authority (NYPA) established as part of its relicensing of the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in 2003.

The three projects, which were recently approved by the SLRREF Board of Directors, were submitted by Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University and will receive funds totaling nearly $60,000.  These projects also will receive at total of $32,964 in matching funds from other sources. 

Researchers at Clarkson University were awarded a grant of $20,000 to build on previous projects funded and published with the benefit of SLRREF grants concerning plankton population in the St. Lawrence River. Critical to the support of fish stock, previous studies of plankton have looked at the growth and grazing of plankton populations in the St. Lawrence River. This most recent project will study plankton population in near shore and main channel areas of the river to bolster the ability to anticipate how changing water levels might affect food web dynamics.

“By combining knowledge of plankton ecology with outputs from mathematical models that describe water flows in this major river we will be able to predict how future water levels—through regulation or climate change—will affect the ecosystem,” states Michael Twiss, associate professor, Biology, and director, Great Rivers Center,  Clarkson University.

“We build on earlier funding from SLRREF to get to the point where we are ready to predict how water levels could affect plankton populations,” added Twiss. “And this past support has both increased our knowledge base needed for proper management of this globally significant river and provided excellent training opportunities for student researchers.”

The full NYPA news release is available at: http://www.nypa.gov/Press/2011/110429a.html.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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